|Publication number||US7467981 B2|
|Application number||US 11/688,818|
|Publication date||Dec 23, 2008|
|Filing date||Mar 20, 2007|
|Priority date||Mar 20, 2006|
|Also published as||US20070293102|
|Publication number||11688818, 688818, US 7467981 B2, US 7467981B2, US-B2-7467981, US7467981 B2, US7467981B2|
|Inventors||Takashi Okuyama, Noriyoshi Ichikawa|
|Original Assignee||Yamaha Marine Kabushiki Kaisha|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (99), Non-Patent Citations (15), Referenced by (3), Classifications (13), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is based on and claims priority to Japanese Patent Application No. 2006-076871, filed Mar. 20, 2006, the entire contents of which is hereby expressly incorporated by reference.
1. Field of the Inventions
The present inventions relate to remote control devices in which remote control of advancing, neutral, reversing, and adjusting the velocity of a watercraft can be performed by operating an operating lever.
2. Description of the Related Art
Japanese Patent Document JP-A-2005-297785 describes a remote control operating device for a watercraft having, the remote control device having an operating lever for operating remote control of advancing, neutral and reversing. A watercraft propulsion device is disclosed as having a gear shift device for the shifting gears between advancing (“forward”), neutral and reversing, and a shift actuator for driving the shift changing device. A control means is provided for controlling the amount of movement of the shift actuator based on the amount of operation of the operating lever, wherein the operating lever can be moved over a specified range from the neutral position. The control means controls the amount of movement of the actuator according to a unit amount of operation of the operating lever. As such, the proportional relationship between the position of the operation lever and the position of the actuator can differ in a portion within the gear shifting range of the operation lever.
An aspect of at least one of the embodiments disclosed herein includes the realization that, in a system such as that described in Japanese Patent Document JP-A-2005-297785, difficulties arise when adapting such a system for use with greater numbers of propulsion units. For example, when such a system is adapted to be used with three outboard motors, the number of remote control-side ECUs corresponding to the number of outboard motors are connected to their respective outboard motors. In such a system, only two levers are provided and position sensors are provided to detect the position for each operating lever. These sensors are connected to both remote control-side ECUs connected to the outboard motors disposed on both left and right sides of the stern. Additionally, both of these left and right side remote control-side ECUs are connected to the center remote control-side ECU connected to the center outboard motor. Thus, when each operating lever is operated, signals are sent through the left and right side remote control-side ECUs to the center remote control-side ECU to control the center outboard motor.
In such a case, the center remote control-side ECU can be affected by the left and right side remote control-side ECUs, resulting in difficulties in securing independence for each outboard motor. Thus, an object of at least one of the embodiments disclosed herein is to provide a remote control device and a watercraft in which independence of each watercraft propulsion device is secured as well as reliability even when the number of propulsion units is greater than the number of operation levers on the remote control units, for example, when there are three outboard motors connected to a two-lever remote control unit.
Thus in accordance with at least one of the embodiments disclosed herein, a remote control device for at least three propulsion devices of a watercraft can comprise a pair of operating levers, a detection device configured to for detect positions of the operating levers, and a remote control-side ECU configured to control the watercraft propulsion devices in accordance with signals from the detection device. The remote control-side ECU can comprise a plurality of respective ECUs corresponding to said watercraft propulsion devices. The detection device can comprise a plurality of respective detection devices, at least one respective detection device corresponding to each of said watercraft propulsion devices disposed on the sides of a stern a hull of the watercraft and at least one respective detection device corresponding to the watercraft propulsion device disposed between said watercraft propulsion devices disposed on the sides of the stern. Each of the detection devices can be connected to a respective ECU.
In accordance with at least one of the embodiments disclosed herein, a remote control device for at least three propulsion devices of a watercraft can comprise first and second operating levers, the remote control device configured to control the power output of all three propulsion devices with the first and second operating levers. The remote control device can also include at least first, second, and third remote control-side ECUs, and at least first, second, and third detection devices configured to detect positions of at least one of the pair of operating levers. The first, second, and third detection devices can be connected to the first, second, and third control-side ECUs.
The above-mentioned and other features of the inventions disclosed herein are described below with reference to the drawings of the preferred embodiments. The illustrated embodiments are intended to illustrate, but not to limit the inventions. The drawings contain the following Figures.
Improved watercraft and remote control systems for watercraft are disclosed herein. Although the present boats and remote control systems are illustrated and described in the context of an outboard motor-powered boat, the present inventions can be used with other types of remote control systems and other types of vehicles.
Referring first to the construction, a watercraft can be configured, as shown in
In the remote control device 17 of the driver's seat 15, as shown in
The remote control device 17 can be provided with, for one (left side) shift lever 26, two left detection devices (lever position sensors) 30 connected to the left remote control-side ECU 23, and two first center detection devices 31 connected to the center remote control-side ECU 25. These lever position sensors can be include a Hall IC, for example. As such, when the shift levers 26, 27 are rotated, the magnetic field changes and this change is converted into change in voltage by the Hall IC for the detection of the position of rotation.
Thus, the left remote control-side ECU 23 and the two left detection devices 30 are connected through two signal circuit systems, and the center remote control-side ECU 25 and the two first center detection devices 31 are connected through two signal circuit systems.
Further, two right detection devices 32 can be connected to the right remote control-side ECU 24, and two second center detection devices 33 can be connected to the center remote control-side ECU 25 for detection of the movement of the other (right side) shift lever 27. Thus, the right remote control-side ECU 24 and the two right detection devices 32 are connected through two signal circuit systems, and the center remote control-side ECU 25 and the two second center detection devices 33 are connected through two signal circuit systems. These detection devices 30, 31, 32, 33 can each have an independent ground.
As a result, signals are transmitted to the center remote control-side ECU 25 from both the shift levers 26, 27 through the first and second center detection devices 31, 33. This center remote control-side ECU 25 can be arranged such that when signals of different detection values are input into the center remote control-side ECU 25 from the first center detection device 31 and second center detection device 33, the center remote control-side ECU 25 calculates a mean value of the different detection values to control the center outboard motor 13 based on the mean value.
The plurality of remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25 can be connected for communication to each other by an inter-ECU communication cable g.
Further, a key switching device 18 can be connected to these remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25. This key switching device 18 can be provided with main switches, starting switches, stopping switches and buzzers (not shown) each corresponding to their respective remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25. Additionally, these components can be connected to the remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25 through signal circuits.
Further, the steering device 19 in the driver's seat 15 has an unillustrated steering wheel-side ECU built in and is provided with a steering wheel 36 for the steering so that the position of rotation (position of rotation angle) of the steering wheel 36 is detected by a position sensor, and the position sensor is connected to the steering wheel-side ECU through a signal circuit.
The steering wheel-side ECU is connected to the remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25 through a DBW CAN cable as a signal line. Here, DBW is an abbreviation of the term “Drive-by-Wire”, referring to the control device using electrical connection in place of mechanical connection, and CAN is an abbreviation of the term “Controller Area Network”.
The left remote control-side ECU 23 can be connected to an unillustrated engine-side ECU provided on the left outboard motor 11 through a power cable and a DBW CAN cable. Similarly, the right remote control-side ECU 24 can be connected to an unillustrated engine-side ECU provided on the right outboard motor 12 through a power cable and a DBW CAN cable. Additionally, the center remote control-side ECU 25 can be connected to an unillustrated engine-side ECU provided on the center outboard motor 13 through a power cable and a DBW CAN cable.
Three batteries 35, as power sources, can be connected to these outboard motors 11, 12, 13, respectively.
As a result, connections between the plurality of remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25 and the detection devices 30, 31, 32, 33 each have a circuit structure in which an independent battery 35 and independent ground are provided.
These engine-side ECUs can each be arranged such that engine operation conditions such as fuel injection quantity, injection timing and ignition timing can be controlled as appropriate based on throttle opening from a throttle opening sensor, engine speed from a crank angle sensor and detection values from other sensors.
Further, various detection values (operating information) such as throttle opening and engine speed can be transmitted from the engine-side ECUs to the remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25 corresponding to the engine-side ECUs through DBW CAN cables, and between the remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25, this operating information being transmitted through the inter-ECU communication circuit g.
Thus, the engine-side ECUs of the outboard motors 11, 12, 13 can be controlled by control signals from the remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25, so that fuel injection quantity, injection timing and ignition timing, etc. are controlled such that the difference in engine speed between the outboard motors 11, 12, 13 falls within the range of target values.
Numeral 37 in
In some embodiments where a pair of shift levers 26, 27 are provided with the first and second detection devices 31, 32 being dedicated to the center outboard motor 13 (center remote control-side ECU 25), it is possible for the center remote control-side ECU 25 to perform independent control without signal input from the other remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, securing independence for each of the outboard motors 11, 12, 13 (engines). Additionally, since signals are transmitted from the first and second center detection devices 31, 32 directly to the center remote control-side ECU 25, the response characteristics of the outboard motor 13 to the shift levers 26, 27 can be improved.
In addition, signals can be transmitted to the center remote control-side ECU 25 from both the shift levers 26, 27 through the first and second center detection devices 31, 33. This center remote control-side ECU 25 can be arranged such that when signals of different detection values are input into the center remote control-side ECU 25 from the first center detection device 31 and second center detection device 33, the center remote control-side ECU 25 can calculate a mean value of the different detection values to control the center outboard motor 13 based on the mean value, so that middle position control of the pair of left and right shift levers 26, 27 can be performed, enabling control of the three outboard motors 11, 12, 13 even by the pair of shift levers 26, 27.
Further, transmitting operating information mutually between the remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25, their through the inter-ECU communication circuit g, enables backup of the input from each of the detection devices 30, 31, 32, 33, improving reliability.
Additionally, connections between the plurality of remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25 and the detection devices 30, 31, 32, 33 corresponding to the remote control-side ECUs 23, 24, 25 each have a circuit structure in which an independent battery 35 and independent ground can be provided, securing independence of the power source for each of the outboard motors 11, 12, 13 more reliably.
In addition, for one shift lever 26, two detection devices (left detection device 46 and first center detection device 47) connected to two remote control-side ECUs (left remote control-side ECU 40 and first center remote control-side ECU 42) can be provided.
Further, for the other shift lever 27, other two detection devices (right detection device 48 and second center detection device 49) connected to other two remote control-side ECUs (right remote control-side ECU 41 and second center remote control-side ECU 43) can be provided.
These remote control-side ECUs 40, 41, 42, 43 can be connected to the detection devices 46, 47, 48, 49 by two circuit systems, respectively. Thus, in the case where four outboard motors are provided, independent control is also possible, securing independence for each of the outboard motors 11, 12, 13 (engines).
In the modification illustrated in
Although in the foregoing embodiments, the outboard motors 11 . . . are used for the “watercraft propulsion devices,” the inventions disclosed herein are not limited to such, and it is to be understood that inboard engines can also be used satisfactorily.
Although these inventions have been disclosed in the context of certain preferred embodiments and examples, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present inventions extend beyond the specifically disclosed embodiments to other alternative embodiments and/or uses of the inventions and obvious modifications and equivalents thereof. In addition, while several variations of the inventions have been shown and described in detail, other modifications, which are within the scope of these inventions, will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art based upon this disclosure. It is also contemplated that various combination or sub-combinations of the specific features and aspects of the embodiments may be made and still fall within the scope of the inventions. It should be understood that various features and aspects of the disclosed embodiments can be combined with or substituted for one another in order to form varying modes of the disclosed inventions. Thus, it is intended that the scope of at least some of the present inventions herein disclosed should not be limited by the particular disclosed embodiments described above.
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|U.S. Classification||440/1, 440/87, 701/21, 440/84, 440/86|
|Cooperative Classification||B63H20/00, B63H21/22, B63H2020/003, B63H21/21, B63H21/213|
|European Classification||B63H21/21B, B63H21/21|
|Nov 18, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: YAMAHA MARINE KABUSHIKI KAISHA, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:OKUYAMA, TAKASHI;ICHIKAWA, NORIYOSHI;REEL/FRAME:021855/0143;SIGNING DATES FROM 20070802 TO 20070803
|Jun 14, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jun 13, 2016||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8